XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Analysis of the HIV-1 pol gene diversity and antiretroviral drugs resistance in treatment-naive patients in Cuba

L.Y. Machado Zaldivar1, M. Dubed Echevarría2, H.M. Díaz Torres1, D.M. Romay Franchi1, N.M. Ruiz Gutiérrez1, N. Valdés de Calzadilla1, M. Blanco de Armas1

1AIDS Research Laboratory, Molecular Biology, San José de las Lajas, La Habana, Cuba, 2AIDS Research Laboratory, Virology, San José de las Lajas, La Habana, Cuba

Background: The knowledge of the resistance patterns to antiretrovirals drugs (ARVs) in the strains of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1), constitutes a fundamental premise in the epidemiological surveillance, due to the emergence of new circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) and multi-resistant strains to the ARVs. The aim of this paper is to analyze the HIV-1 pol gene diversity and the prevalence of resistance-associated mutations to ARVs in treatment - naive patients in Cuba.
Methods: 48 plasma samples from individuals of recent seroconversion, and treatment naive patients were collected in 2009. RNA was extracted from plasma and used as a target to amplify the pol gene of HIV-1. PCR products were sequenced on both strands, phylogenetic analyses were performed by neighbor-joining, and recombination was evaluated by bootscan. The presence of protease (PR) and reverse transcriptase (RT) resistance - associated mutations and the levels of resistance to the ARVs were evaluated according to the Stanford Database program (http://hivdb.stanford.edu).
Results: pol gene sequencing of the samples revealed that 37.5% of the analyzed samples corresponded to the subtype B and 62.5% for non-B genetic forms, including CRF 19_cpx, CRF 18_cpx and the unique recombinant form (URF) BG. The prevalence of PR and RT resistance -associated mutations was 16.7% and 39.6% respectively, being the most significant L10I in PR and M41I, K103N in RT. The levels of resistance to the inhibitors of the PR and RT were, 2.1% and 14.6%.
Conclusions: This study confirms the circulation of HIV-1 CFRs in the seropositive Cuban population and the transmission of resistance - associated mutations, what indicates the importance of maintaining a constant epidemiological surveillance of the circulating strains in Cuba.

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